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Creative Commons: The Future Is Friendly

Looking to the future I realize that what would make me happiest is writing and practicing photography. I've made some minor gains in the writing field, getting published in some technical and local papers and magazines, and today I feel I've made some in-roads into photography. Though I've been playing on FLICKR for some time and can find my pictures all over the web, borrowed by travel sites, commercial websites and more, somehow it is once one gets into print that one feels ultimately more satisfied. The great thing about FLICKR is that the user can not only share photos with the world, but also decide how (and with whom) photos are shared. Beyond that, FLICKR has teamed up with not-for-profit organization CREATIVE COMMONS, which allows users to connect a few different licenses to their work. I've given mine an Attribution 2.0 license, which means that others may copy, distribute or display the work, make derivative works and make commercial use of the work as long as they attribute the work in the manner specified by me, the licensor. Seems like a fair option. We are living in a world that will continue to be defined and shaped by how willing people are to share with one another.

CREATIVE COMMONS' founders understood, when they developed the site, that clear and concise communication is key. For content creators there are several licenses to choose from, and for content acquirers, you can search for works to be used for commercial purposes or works that allow for modification. We're all familiar with the battle begun by music sharing, but what about giving props to pioneers like the Beastie Boys, who offer CD's of their music in Wired magazine for others to adapt and play with, or who send out 50 video cameras into the crowd for concert-goers to document their own experiences, and then create an "open-source" documentary. Brilliant! CREATIVE COMMONS licenses apply to all sorts of media: video, music, photography and text. So when a young Hungarian writer named Istvan contacted me today about how to credit me for the photography he'll be using on the cover of a book he's publishing about electronic music, I realized I'd chosen to do the right thing by sharing my work with others. I sent him a friendly email back suggesting the credit and he said he'd send me a copy of the book. Quick and simple, all thanks to CREATIVE COMMONS, where the future is friendly.

from this (image by sookie):

to this (image by Istvan):


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